Tribal Daughters Dancing

courtesy of Edwina Peterson Cross

Fires burning brightly,
smoke drifting upward
lacing through the branches
to the throbbing sound of drums.

My memories merely shadows
in the halls of time,
remembered only in my genes,
of tribal daughters dancing
beneath Moon's ivory light.
My glistening body moves
in unison with every other,
shoulders, breasts, and thighs
in the flickering firelight,
rim lit with Moon's seductive power.

This night
as I sit here in my chair
with embers in the fireplace glowing
but smoke no longer rising,
I think of them though their faces are but shadows
dimmed by centuries passing.
Still, far away through time and space
I still hear the whispering
as the dancers slowly leave.

What of me, crone that I am?
Alone, but not alone
for they are with me still,
those Tribal Dancers of the Moon.
So come gather you around me,
fan the flames
for I have stories to be told
memories to be shared
of those long forgotten
Tribal Daughters Dancing.

Vi ©January 30, 2004

dancing is too important to leave only to the young

is too important
to leave
to the young -

may our
old women

to the slim pines who
circle round the mountain; or
slenderswaying willows
who rosiering the pool (deep
as time, reflecting an
ancient moon)

may our
old women

leaning on
the hoop of seasons

may our
old women

silverslate pigeons
plump and
dark winterberries
ripe beyond first blush - juicy
old crones with
laughing fire
eyes: where
else but from
these warriors comes the
to grow old?

is too important
too sacred
too much fun

to leave
to the young

Lisa Phoenix

To A Dance Teacher

“Come . . . ”
She said,
“Come dance with me . . .
Take the magic from my hands . . .
And I will teach you
To sail among the crystal clouds
And catch the mist of morning in your eyes . . .
To weave a golden gauze of wind
Into patterns for your feet to follow

Come dance with me . . .
And I will show your body how to sing
To melt with melody . . .
To leap exulting into luminous song . . .
To shape the curve of silence

Come dance with me . . .
And you will see
That glistening canvas of movement
Which will hold more joy, more peace, more pain
Than any picture ever painted
Any word ever spoken

Come with me . . .
And we will dance down rainbows . . .
We will feel the surge of a wild ocean through our arms
Feel the beat of our blood in our ears
We will froth like a bubble bursting in the wind . . .
Fly like an eagle toward the sun
We will dream . . .
Lifting into the silent night sky
We will spin with webs of starlight

Come . . .
Dance with me . . .
And we will stretch your body into beauty
And sing your soul into joy”

She said,
“Come dance with me . . .
Take the magic from my hands . . .
Learn the love from my heart . . . ”

Edwina Peterson Cross ©March 1987


1. Dancing is too important to leave to the young so get together with a group of other people. Gift a partner with creativity by painting their faces with creative symbols. Put on the drumming music and dance a tribal dance that celebrates creativity.

2. If you cannot find a group of like minded spirits paint your face, put the drumming music up loud and dance a tribal dance.

3. Find a ring of trees in a wood and dance a tribal dance.

4. Write how you feel as you dance, or simply watch others dance

I've lost the poem
the dancers made me write

I see the lovely moving forms
with all delight

The swaying skirts the graceful pose
Delicate youth and grace

All this, and then the tale
of old women

what a joy it is to know all of you,
and the painter too

Francis Sbrocchi